Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Schuylkill County Obituaries for March 16th, 2022


Skook News Obituaries: March 16th, 2022

Obituaries published from the Schuylkill County area. 


Dawn Yates, 50, of Tamaqua, PA died on Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Bethlehem, PA. 

Born in Long Branch, NJ on March 6, 1972, she was a daughter of the late Patricia (Van Curen) Priester. A high school graduate, Dawn was a nurse’s aide whose last employment was with the Hometown Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. 

She is survived by siblings, Maria Yesavage of Arizona, Trisha Kozak of Buffalo, NY, Alexander Priester of Tamaqua, Victoria Priester of Tamaqua, Scott Priester of Tamaqua, and Landan Priester of Tamaqua; nephews; nieces; and cousins. 

Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.


Margaret E. “Peggy” Zeird
, 99, formerly of Tamaqua, PA died on Monday, March 14, 2022, in Coaldale, PA. She was the wife of the late Robert G. Zeird, Sr. who died in 1983. 

Born in Tamaqua on March 30, 1922, Peggy was the daughter of the late Raymond and Celia (Kline) Johnson. A 1940 graduate of Tamaqua High School, she had been employed at the former Atlas Powder Company. Peggy was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Tamaqua where she was an active kitchen helper assisting with the cooking and serving. 

Peggy is survived by son, William R. Zeird and his wife Gwen of Lititz, PA; granddaughter, Stacy McSparran of Lititz; step grandchildren, Debbie McKenzie and Corinne Oschal; great grandchildren, Ethan McSparran and Cole McSparran; nephew, Ricky Johnson; and nieces, Kimberly Johnson, Melissa Johnson, and Michelle Johnson. She was predeceased by grandson, Scott Zeird; step grandson, Robert Zeird, III; brothers, William Johnson, Carl Johnson, Nick Johnson; and half-sister, Frances Schmauch. 

Services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 East Broad Street, Tamaqua with The Rev. Darryl Kensinger officiating. Interment in Sky-View Memorial Park will follow the services. Call 10-11 AM on Saturday at the funeral home. 

Memorials in Margaret’s name may be made to Trinity United Church of Christ, 22 Lafayette Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252.

Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.


John Charles Wiley
, 75, Pottsville, a veteran of the Vietnam War passed away peacefully on Monday, March 14th surrounded by family at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest, Allentown.

Born on August 15, 1946, the only son of the late John and Catherine Wiley, he grew up in the beautiful hills of the Shenandoah Valley.

After attending Shenandoah Catholic High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force serving in California, Vietnam and Dover AFB from 1966 to 1972. He spent a pretty penny on writing love letters to the love of his life, Mary Ellen Murphy, who finally said Yes after 3 proposals.

He is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, with whom he shared 53 years of bonded marriage to, Mary Ellen Wiley. They have three children along with three daughters-in-law; John and Barbara Wiley; Kristine and Dani Wiley; Michael and his fiancé Tina. He was a proud poppy who loved his 8 grandchildren: Courtney, Nicholas, Kyle, Tabitha, Ariel, Avery, Megan and Tyler. He was over the moon to be a great-grandpop to Carter and Greyson, who loved to hug their pop-pop. He is also survived by his loving dogs.

John was a proud Air Force Veteran, Indy car, Nascar and Steelers fan, You could find him on any given Sunday with the remote in his hand in front of the TV.

As a lasting gift after his death, John donated his organs as a symbol of one's selfless decision to give to others that will never be forgotten.

A memorial service to honor his life and military service will be held on Sunday, March 27th at 2 p.m. from the Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, Frackville. Friends are invited to his visitation at the funeral home on Sunday from 12 noon until the time of service.

He was guided home by a little Penny.


Dr. Kenneth Harold “Ken” Brown
, age 75, of Newark, Delaware, was surrounded by his family when he passed away on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Ken was born on August 8, 1946 at Coaldale Hospital near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania to parents the late Kenneth C. Brown and Edna (Mauger) Brown. As a youth in Tamaqua, Ken was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He was also a member of the Order of the Arrow, which is the honor society of Scouting.

Ken graduated from Tamaqua High School in 1964, completed his Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Mathematics at Bloomsburg State College in 1968, and his Master of Education in Mathematics from the University of Delaware in 1971. He engaged in post-graduate studies in Administration and Curriculum at the University of Delaware, and later went on to earn his Doctorate 
in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 1981.

Ken started his career in education teaching eighth grade mathematics at Wilmer E. Shue School in Newark, Delaware where he taught from 1968 until 1988 and was well known as a tough but fair teacher. Beginning in 1983, he was the District Chairperson of Mathematics for Christina School District for six years, and then served for a year as a Special Agent working on curriculum development. In 1989 he accepted the position of Director of Finance for the Christina School District, serving in that role for 10 years. Ken also was an adjunct faculty member at Wilmington University, where he taught Master and Doctoral level courses in Educational Leadership and Administration from 1992 to 1999. Ken retired from Christina School District on September 1, 1999, and accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, serving in that role until 2003. After leaving Prince George’s County, he worked as an independent educational consultant until finally retiring.

Ken had been a long-time member of the Newark Rotary Club and was a Master Mason with over 50 years of service with dual membership in the Tamaqua-Mahanoy City (Pennsylvania) Lodge no. 238 and Solomon Lodge no. 36 of Newark, Delaware. He was also a 32nd degree in Scottish Rite (Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), Valley of Wilmington.

He enjoyed spending time at the beach and the mountains. He loved being on the water, whether it was exploring the back bays of Ocean City in his boat, catching a bounty of crabs for dinner, or taking cruises to island destinations on the high seas. Most of all, he loved spending time with his friends and his family who he loved so much.

Ken began dating his beloved wife of 53 years, Patty, when he was 15 and she was 14. They married on November 2, 1968, moved to Delaware, and had one daughter.

In addition to his parents, Kenneth and Edna, he was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy Jane Brown Kline. Ken is survived by his wife, Patricia Ann Hoffman Brown of Newark; daughter, Patricia Lee Brown Welch (Ticia); son-in-law, Edward Anthony Welch; and grandsons, James Kenneth Welch and Jordan Christopher Welch, all of Ocean Pines, Maryland.

Interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the Supreme Council, 33° Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ, USA, PO Box 519, Lexington, MA 02420-0519 or by clicking here or to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301.


Helen Koppenhaver
, everyone's Oma, passed away peacefully of natural causes on March 15, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. Almost a centurion, Helen was born on June 10, 1922 and was the daughter of Harry and Myrtle Romberger. She graduated from Hegins Township High School in 1940 and attended business school in Harrisburg, PA and Susquehanna University. Helen was an active congregant at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Klingerstown where she was the oldest member. She was born in Klingerstown and spent 96 years of her life in her beloved Mahantongo Valley home. Helen lived at Polk Assisted Living in Millersburg for three years and enjoyed the friendships she developed with residents and staff. She spent her last weeks in her daughter and son-in-law's home surrounded by loved ones.

Among her family was the love of her life, the late Carlos D. Koppenhaver, to whom she was married for 53 years. She and Carlos owned and operated a general store in Klingerstown and Koppy's Propane in Williamstown. Through the decades, culture changed but Oma's virtues stayed the same. She was dedicated to her family, and she believed in sharing the gift of hospitality, working hard, and of course, playing and socializing. Oma never passed an opportunity to play hausey, five crowns, pinochle, or rummikub. Additionally, she loved laughter and said many surprising one-line comments that made everyone laugh. Known for her work ethic and generosity, she shared readily with everyone she knew. Her keen quilting skills produced many beautiful quilts for loved ones. Oma enjoyed baking and provided her signature delicious cookies, muffins, and cupcakes for friends and family including the local high school sports teams.

Helen is survived by four children: David Koppenhaver and wife Rachel, Mary Field and husband Norm, Rebecca Kline and companion Darryl Miller, and Jane Weigel and husband John. In addition, she has ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren that she adored.
She extended the role of Oma (German grandmother) to all generations and shared her optimism big-heartedly to relatives and friends alike. Her life was a testament to "treat your family like company and your company like family." Hospitality was second nature to Helen, and she welcomed both young and old into her home.

Visitation with the family is scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 9:00 am until 11:30 am at St. Michael's Lutheran Church at 48 Main St. Klingerstown, PA with a service immediately following.

Burial will be in St. Michael's Cemetery, Klingerstown.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are welcomed in her honor to St. Michael's Lutheran Church or the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Buffington-Reed Funeral Home, Valley View, is in charge of arrangements.


Joann Carol Regitz-Birster
, 76, of Locust Dale, PA met her Lord and Savior on March 16, 2022 at home, peacefully with her beloved family surrounding her.

Joann was born December 16, 1945 to Frederick and Mary (Enders) Regitz. She was the youngest of six children : Carl (deceased 1985), Elizabeth Feudale-Buckley, Ralph, William and MaryAnn Giancola. She married her best friend and high school sweetheart, C.Kenneth Birster, having a long and happy marriage of 55 years. Together, they had 3 children : Stephen, Stephanie Birster-Ovall and Christopher.

In 1963, Joann graduated from Ashland Area High School and graduated from Ashland State General Hospital School of Nursing in 1966. Immediately after graduation, Joann obtained a nursing position within the PA state system and maintained her nursing career for over 37 years. During her long career she worked in the ICU, CCU, Recovery Room and Mental Health units. Always an advocate for nursing and patient’s rights, she held the position of President of PNA (PA Nurse’s Association) for many years and was a mentor for many of the nurses today.

Joann loved music and played accordion and later taught herself piano. She directed the youth choir at Grace EC Church, Locust Dale and mentored many of the local youth in the Locust Dale area. An avid member of her church, Joann taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, was active in the Church Choir and Community Choir and held Bible study at her home.

Joann believed in service and giving back to the community. She was a member of the Rotary Club and served as President.

Joann is survived by her husband, C. Kenneth Birster (Moose), her son Stephen and wife Jodi and their children, Scott and wife Ashley and great-grandson Theodore, Gweneviere and husband Karl Birster-Mallory and Veronica; her daughter Stephanie and her husband Elan Ovall Sr with their children Elan Ovall Jr, Aubre-Anne Ibanez and Adelyne Ibanez; her son Christopher and his wife Laura and their children Darian, Ron Bolinsky Jr. & Zachary Bolinsky and Nathanial & Gabriel Birster from Chris’ first marriage to Joann Phillips Birster.

A Viewing will be held on Saturday, March 19th from 10am to 1pm with a Memorial Service immediately following at Bethany EC Church at 13th & Market Street, Ashland PA.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to either the Bethany EC Church at 13th & Market Street, Ashland or the Ashland Rotary, 2036 Walnut Street, Ashland.

For more information or to extend online condolences visit . Kull-Heizenroth Funeral Home Inc., 901 Centre Street Ashland, PA 17921 has been entrusted with the arrangements.


These obituaries are being  brought to by

Anthony Urban Law Offices. P.C.

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